HEAR NO EVIL
Like you, I am a concerned citizen. I am concerned for our country. I am concerned for the security of our country. I am concerned for our government and I am concerned about our government. I am also very concerned about what our government is still not doing in the War on Terror. Five years should have given them ample time to repair and prepare. Most of all, I am terribly concerned about our government’s capability to handle the next 9/11.
Originally I was going to write a book that was half narrative and half reference guide, complete with fifty, nifty, easy-to-use Cheat Sheets & Sidebars. However, wiser minds prevailed. It was politely pointed out to me that better and brighter people had already written and chronicled the War on Terror. There was already an elegant sufficiency of reference materials. Any book I could offer would be superfluous at best.
Instead, wiser minds said:
“You’ve personally lived this War on Terror from the beginning, actually from long before it was duly declared or even acknowledged. Therefore, keep it simple:
It was pretty hard to argue against this point of view. It made too much sense. The old book was scrapped and a new one born. Hopefully this new book will enjoy the additional attribute of being moderately interesting as well. If I have done my job correctly, it should read more like a novel and less like a history lesson in detention.
1. Introduce me, the writer, with relevant life experiences so that you, the reader, can acquire a moderate understanding of whom and what I am.
2. Chronicle my almost double decade history with the Feds and the terrorists in the War on Terror.
3. Point out the problems as exemplified in the narrative, which persist in plaguing the American intelligence community.
4. Offer some reasonable repairs for some of the problems.
5. Pass on the baton to you to go forth and deal with our government in your way, be it by bullying or ballot.
Upon finishing this book, the baton passes on to you. As the writer, my job will be over. I will have run through my bag of tricks. Then you will have to decide what you are or are not going to do about the problem. It’s your government. At the end of the day, it’s your problem. After all, it’s your life and the lives of those you love which are on the line.
Before we begin, it makes sense for all of us to start off on the same page. Because we are all unique individuals with unique life experiences, we have different thoughts on what is ‘normal’ and ‘average’ and what is not. I am no different. What has been ‘normal’ and ‘average’ to me in my life may not be your idea of ‘normal’ or average’. For example, I never have nor ever will be ‘married with 2.4 kids, a wagon and a dog in the burbs’. For many that is ‘normal’. For me it’s not, though I do acknowledge and appreciate its inherent normalcy.
Rather than waste our time discussing the requisites and relative merits of normalcy, it makes more sense to turn to our own government, in this case, the FBI, for their official input.
Midway through our long association, the Bureau suddenly developed an overwhelming need to assign a label to their ‘source/snitch/asset,’ i.e., me. Accordingly, they spent several months convening committees and conducting meetings to determine my designation. Since the FBI has already wasted their time and the taxpayer’s money, it would be a shame not to avail ourselves of their results. Besides it could help us all begin on the same page.
I do freely admit that ‘normal’ people are not usually designated by Uncle Sam. Be that as it may, I will argue to the death that the FBI epitomizes ‘average,’ and maybe ‘normal,’ not to mention mediocre and mundane. Nothing and no one is more ‘average’ than the boys from the Bureau. They give new meaning to the phase; ‘living inside the box.’ Hell, they built the box. The Bureau, by their own bureaucratic definition, is the poster child for ‘average’ and in their bureaucratic sense of the word, ‘normal.’
So while the concept of federally labeling folk may not be either customary or commonplace; nonetheless, the issuing authority must be indisputably recognized as rabidly ‘average’. From that, one must accept at least a veneer of normalcy. Be that as it may, I was ‘officially or unofficially’ designated;
“Intelligent, Articulate, Eccentric, but not Delusional”
(A couple of years later, “Versatile” was added to the mix.)
My FBI recruiter, main contact and ‘handler’ was somewhat concerned that I might be offended with my federally-sponsored designation. He was a bit surprised and taken aback when I broke out laughing. I found it vastly amusing.
Naturally, I was a bit surprised that they had even bothered to ‘designate’ me, especially seven to eight years into our association. It seemed a little late in the game to begin awarding labels.
Upon reflection, their defining dictum got better and better. It was now fully ‘federal’ and presumably a matter of public record. I had been ‘duly designated’ by Uncle Sam. According to him, I could:
A. Walk and chew gum at the same time.
That was the ‘intelligent’ part.
B. Effectively inform people that I could walk and chew gum at the same time.
That was the ‘articulate’ part.
C. Walk and chew gum at the same time in a myriad of unusual, but socially acceptable ways.
That was the ‘eccentric’ part.
That was the ‘not delusional’ part.
By far, my favourite part of the designation was, “but not delusional.” It was so great to learn that I had been suitably certified as ‘not delusional.’ I knew that there would be some folk who would dispute these federal findings so it was nice to have it clarified.
It didn’t matter what others thought; I was officially and federally ‘non-delusional.’ More importantly, I had Uncle Sam’s Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval to prove it.
‘Eccentric’ was good, too. ‘Eccentric’ is the socially acceptable form of ‘bizarre.’ According this label I was authorized to say and do almost anything I wanted and still be invited to all the best parties.
Actually, it’s better than good. I had been given complete federal blessings and sanctioned to say weird stuff and do strange things. If anyone ever said anything, all I had to do was dust off my designation and point to ‘eccentric.’ Not only was it absolutely allowed, it was also expected. Any way you slice it, it did add a new dimension to my life.
Life is partially planned and partially random. No matter how carefully we, or our parents before us, plan and plot our lives, unforeseen events, chance encounters and casual choices randomly occur. These seemingly minor happenings catapult our lives into different realms of existence and cancel out the carefully orchestrated ones.
To varying degrees we are all victims of these random occurrences. Some, like an unplanned pregnancy or an unexpected trip, are immediately recognizable and noteworthy. Others, like a chance encounter or a casual choice, are much more subtle. Sometimes it can take years to understand the full impact. Other times, we never fully understand.
Whether we do or whether we don’t, our lives continue to unfold, partially planned, partially random. My life has been no different. Like everyone else, various events and experiences have occurred in my life which have impelled me in certain directions and impeded me in others. Some were planned and some were random. These have been included to help explain how I came to be as I was and how I arrived there when Uncle Sam ultimately came calling.
You now have a brief explanation of the intent of the book, how it was originally conceived and how it got reborn. You also know a wee bit about the writer, or at least what he was duly designated by the Feds. The rest will unfold with time.